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The Bermudian

Award of Excellence: Greenrock

It has never been so easy to be green thanks to the influential and dynamic organization Greenrock. Founded in 2003 by passionate environmentalist Erin Moran, Greenrock has been working diligently to change the mindset of Bermudians regarding what it truly means to create a sustainable Bermuda. The charity has evolved over the last five years into a powerful group of committed individuals who are now respected as the go-to organization dealing with all “green” issues facing the island. Greenrock states that its mission is to “encourage and empower individuals and companies to do their part in making Bermuda socially, economically and environmentally sustainable for future generations.” Getting this heavy message across to a younger—and decidedly more materialistic—generation is no easy task. By creating a dynamic website (www.greenrock.org), promoting new technologies like e-scooters and wind turbines, hosting concerts and teaming up with other charities to get the message across, many are finally paying attention. Recently the nonprofit group organized a Bring Your Own Bag (or Bottle) campaign, hosted a light-bulb swap and vocalized their opinions on a variety of environmental and sustainability issues. Greenrock continues to promote green technologies and business in Bermuda through their website, which has become a clearinghouse for news, events, tips for living a greener lifestyle and more. Earlier this year, Andrew Vaucrosson replaced Moran as president, and Mark Booth stepped up as vice president. They lead a dedicated management committee and advisory panel with a clear vision of Bermuda’s sustainable future, and our judges applaud them all with this Award of Excellence.

Historic Site

The beautiful and almost haunting remains of the Unfinished Church in St. George’s are a protected historic monument today. The magnificent Gothic-style church was started in the 1870s as a replacement for St. Peter’s Church. However, according to the Bermuda National Trust, construction was abandoned near its completion due to a series of problems including parish infighting, financial difficulties and a damaging storm.

News Event of the Year

The media had plenty to cover with the passing of Dame Lois Browne-Evans, the ongoing BHC scandal, the media gag and more, but it was hard to find a bigger story in the last year than December’s general election. With all the pre-election mudslinging, crazy early predictions and shocking upsets, there was plenty of fodder for news hounds to devour.

Political Goof

Bermudians take their traditions and their holidays seriously. When government announced last year that they would rename Bermuda Day “National Heroes Day,” thousands of locals signed petitions, wrote letters to the editors and joined Facebook groups in protest. Wisely, government relented and decided to create an all-together new public holiday to honour those like Dame Lois who rightfully deserve the recognition.

Pit-bull Politician

Daughter of the late Dr. E. F. Gordon, Pat Gordon-Pamplin was born into politics. Now the Shadow Works & Engineering Minister, the outspoken Gordon-Pamplin has raised awareness of many important issues with her fierce debates in the House of Assembly over controversial issues like asbestos at the former Club Med site, the rise in crime, race relations and more.

Most-Effective Politician

As if running the country weren’t enough work, Premier Ewart Brown also handles transportation and tourism issues with apparent ease. With constant press conferences, meetings, special appearances and events to attend on a daily basis, the premier has to be the busiest politician in Bermuda and, as his record can attest, also the most effective.

Shadow Minister in the Limelight

Currently the limelight is shining on the new leader of the opposition, Kim Swan. The always-vocal politician narrowly defeated a sitting MP in his St. George’s constituency during the general election to finally get a House of Assembly seat—and then was almost immediately elected the leader of the UBP, a role he has handled effectively.

Political Coup

While the overall election was relatively uneventful, there were a few surprise upsets—none more shocking to the United Bermuda Party than Zane DeSilva’s 48-vote win over the incumbent David Dodwell, ending Dodwell’s 14-year Parliamentary career.

Bermuda Booster

With thousands in attendance, the internationally broadcast PGA Grand Slam was held on a Bermuda golf course for the first time last year, and even without Tiger Woods it was a huge PR boost for the island. A worldwide audience was exposed to our beautiful Mid Ocean Golf Course, the stunning views around it and, perhaps more importantly, to the gracious people and famed hospitality we are so proud of.

Corporate Citizen

On the local scene, our judges recognized the Lindo’s stores (Family Foods, 128 Middle Rd., Warwick, 236-1344, and Lindo’s Market, 4 Watlington Road East, Devonshire, 236-5623) for their commitment to the community and a healthier Bermuda through regular sponsorship of major charities and, this year, the popular 100-Day Challenge.

Our judges also wanted to recognize the Butterfield Bank Charitable Foundation for their ongoing commitment to Bermuda through educational scholarships, sponsorships of major events, charity endowments and more.

Booster for the Environment

Greenrock has been working toward changing the mindset of locals since 2003 with their ongoing campaigns to raise awareness of important environmental issues. They continue to support and promote local businesses that import environmentally friendly products like compact fluorescent light bulbs, electric scooters, canvas shopping bags and more. The members are outspoken and socially conscious as they work diligently to make us all more eco-conscious. (Andrew Vaucrosson abstained from voting in this category.)

Ecological Blunder

Is the crane the new national bird of Bermuda? It seems that way with all the building projects going on both in Hamilton and throughout the island. Without an updated Bermuda Plan—now years late—who is guiding this massive building boom? “We have no guidance on our planning right now,” lamented one judge, “and that is going to be a huge ecological blunder—whether we are talking energy consumption, waste disposal, materials like asbestos destructed, etc.”

Community Activist

Truly an activist in the modern sense, Bermudian Lisa Vickers has been a part of all the major protests recently—including Save the Gardens, the Southlands development protest and the dolphin-park plan. Most recently, she has spent her time working with Greenpeace and the tracking of migrating humpback whales.

Tenacious Lawyer

It has been quite a year for lawyer Charles Richardson. It is hard to believe he was only called to the bar in 2005, but Richardson has already become a household name after acting as defence attorney in some of our most high-profile court cases. On his popular Sunday-night Court Radio show on Hott 107.5, he continues to impress with his intelligence, wit and in-depth knowledge of the judicial system.

Cultural Event of the Year

If you had something to float on, you were probably at last year’s Non-Mariners Race. Besides the usual buffoonery, political slapstick and family entertainment, last year’s non-race attracted record numbers of Bermudians to hear the hugely popular Collie Buddz perform.

Charity Event

What started as a group of friends walking to raise some funds for charity has grown into one of the biggest charity events on the Bermuda calendar. The End-to-End has raised over $2.5 million dollars to date over the last 21 years. In 2007, records were broken: over 2,500 people walked, cycled, swam or otherwise made their way across the island to raise more than $250,000.

Recording Artist

There is no doubt that last year was huge for Colin Harper, better known as the rising reggae superstar Collie Buddz. With his debut album hitting the top of the U.S. music charts, appearances on BET, a performance at New York City’s famed Madison Square Garden and a number of sold-out local performances—including one with Shaggy on New Year’s Eve—this musician is smoking hot. Not only has he carved out a name for himself in a short time, he’s also single-handedly put Bermuda on the world music stage.

Visual Artist

Sadly, he’s packed up his photographic equipment and left the island for greener pastures, but our judges still wanted to acknowledge artist Antoine Hunt for his stunning works often featured in local gallery exhibitions—including the prestigious Bacardi Biennial this year.

Tattoo Artist

If you want to get inked, the best place to go is Smokin’ Joes (2 Underhill Lane, Pembroke, 799-5597). Bermudian tattoo artist Joe Mathias has been decorating the skin of local fans for years with his beautiful, uniquely created designs. All you have to worry about is where to put it.

Athlete

Not since Clarence Hill won the bronze medal at the 1976 Olympic Games has there been so much buzz about boxing in Bermuda. Pit-bull pugilist Teresa Perozzi has sometimes had to fight harder battles outside the ring than in, but she has trained hard and fought like the champion she is—making her a winner in our books.

Sports Coach/Instructor

What an exciting year it has been for former national football coach Kyle Lightbourne. The player/coach of the PHC Zebras led his team to the first league and FA Cup double in 16 years and then capped it off with the Martonmere Cup. Lightbourne’s goal in minute 82 of the championship game against Devonshire Cougars clinched the victory—and his enthusiasm and passion for the game, as well as his players, earned him the gold award from our judges.

Spectator Sports Event

With well over 7,000 attending the event in person, thousands more watching it at special viewing sites around the island and millions watching worldwide, the PGA Grand Slam in October 2007 was Bermuda’s biggest and most exciting spectator sports event of the year. The dramatic finale in which Angel Cabrera beat Padraig Harrington on a third extra hole added to the thrill. The event will surely see even bigger crowds this year—and maybe a Tiger.

Entrepreneur

Everyone in the media business knows how tough it is to get in, and more importantly, stay in. That’s why the talent and fortitude of Showoff magazine publisher/editor Patrice Morgan—who, fresh out of college, overcame the odds—impressed our judges. She has run a successful young-adult magazine for over four years now. Just last year, Morgan spread her wings further and started a teen version, proving there is more ahead for this aspiring young talent.

Thespian

She’s worked in nearly ever aspect of the local theatre scene for the last 30 or so years she has been in Bermuda, making Dr. Barbara Jones one of the most well known and popular thespians on the island. She has acted, directed, designed costumes, stage managed and acted for BMDS, the Gilbert & Sullivan Society and others—and most recently designed the costumes for the period piece Intimate Apparel. Her commitment and passion for the theatre made Dr. Jones a deserving winner in our book.

Bermuda Character

East End residents are well aware of St. George’s resident character Alabama. Wandering around the streets of the old town, Alabama is often looking for a quick hustle, washing dishes or cars, tying up boats along the docks. Generally more entertaining than a nuisance, residents keep an eye out for him.

Children’s Activity

Encouraging young people to read for pleasure is the main goal of the Bermuda Youth Library (74 Church Street, Hamilton, 295-0487), but they go far beyond simply offering books for loan. With boys and girls clubs held on Tuesdays and Thursdays respectively, Book Babies classes, Saturday story time and even free movie nights, the engaging staff works tirelessly to encourage the next generation of bibliophiles.

Family Outing

There is no shortage of events for families—especially around Christmastime. But one activity that local families definitely don’t want to miss is the ever-popular Christmas Boat Parade, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last year. Brilliant, festive lights decorating boats big and small as they cruise Hamilton Harbour and a fantastic fireworks show to cap off the night make the Boat Parade the best family outing in our judges’ eyes.

Spot for a Picnic

Rolling hills, generous shade trees, beautifully cultivated flowers and more make Bermuda’s elegant Botanical Gardens (169 South Shore Road, Paget) the best place to bring a basketfull of goodies and a blanket for a fun family picnic.

Place for Falling in Love

With soft pink sand, rolling waves and gorgeous sunset views, Bermuda’s beaches are a natural place for people to fall in love.

Place to Propose

For the ultimate in romance, take your beloved to Cambridge Beaches and ask for a private dinner to be set up for you on your own private island—King’s Point. A boat will shuttle you across, where you will dine on a luxurious dinner as the sun sets over the South Shore. Just don’t forget the ring!

Place to Dump a Lover

We now live in an Internet world, and many people are both falling in and out of love online. The increasingly popular online social community Facebook details all the intricate details of young people’s lives in photos, messages and personal profiles, including their love affairs, quarrels and relationship status. It’s all on display, occasionally to the surprise of the second party involved.

Beautiful Garden

Spectacular old Bermuda roses, luxurious shade trees, lush tropical plants and blooming perennials highlight the beautiful garden at the Royal Palms Hotel (24 Rosemont Avenue, Pembroke, 292-1854).

Place to Enjoy Nature

With over 64 acres of stunning natural beauty, Spittal Pond Nature Reserve is the perfect place to bird watch as you wander along the well-defined trail, past endemic trees and plants and toward the rocky shoreline and historic Spanish Rock. It’s a great place to take the kids or visitors and teach them about Bermuda’s natural bounty.

Place to Play a Round of Golf

Since its incredible redesign in 2002, Belmont Hills Golf Course (97 Middle Road, Warwick, 236-6400) has received numerous awards and heaps of praise from all of those who have tackled the  6,100 yards and 18 holes. Once again, our judges recognized the well-designed course for its challenging layout, superb views and friendly golf pros, who are patient with even the least-experienced players.

Place for a Discreet Rendezvous

Those who remember the old Blue Hole Dolphin Show also remember the rather hidden location of the beautiful pond just off Longbird Bridge. It’s a perfectly discreet spot for a romantic encounter—providing someone else hasn’t already beaten you there.

Location for Wedding Pictures

Many couples choose beautiful Astwood Park to capture the beauty of their big day. With gorgeous South Shore ocean views, a private beach  and lush greenery, it is a photographer’s favourite.

Attraction for Visitors

The start of the tourist season is usually heralded by the arrival of the longtails—both the feathered and the sandal-wearing variety. Our judges recommended sending them to Front Street during Harbour Nights. Every Wednesday during the summer months Hamilton bustles with local arts and crafts, entertainment, tasty treats and loads of children’s activities. A must see for all visitors.

Off-Season Deal for Locals

During the dreary winter months Bermuda’s hotels regularly offer special rates and packages for locals—and this year Cambridge Beaches (30 Kings Point Road, Somerset, 234-0331) had a particularly good one. They proposed a spa treatment, breakfast and dinner special for three nights at an excellent price earlier this year, said our judges.

People-Watching Perch

On a nice day, the benches in Par-La-Ville Park are brimming with people eating their lunches and casually watching others walk by. It’s the ideal place to get away from the daily grind, see the fantastic sculptures and survey all the latest couples.

Successful Fundraiser

Brave Bermudian men, women and children join thousands overseas by shaving their heads every March for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. This year 55 local shavees at both Saltus Grammar School and Bermuda Athletic Association raised nearly half a million dollars for the foundation committed to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer research.

Newspaper Journalist

After nine years of diligent reporting on all the major news events, Bermuda Sun journalist Nigel Regan left our shores to return to England. Saddened by his departure, our judges still wanted to recognize him for the quality reporting he did over the last year.

TV Journalist

Getting the inside scoop on breaking news is the passion of ZBM television reporter Gary Moreno (Bermuda Broadcasting Company, 4 Fort Hill Road, Prospect, Devonshire, 295-2828), who our judges voted as the best TV journalist. “He knows his subjects very well,” said one judge, “and he’s not afraid to ask the tough questions.”

Critical Columnist

After a tough year of harsh political criticism, a little humour about living in Bermuda is a welcome respite. Thus our judges felt the quick wit and sharp tongue of columnist and writer Roger Crombie deserved recognition this year. His in-depth insights into the world of Bermudian business and the craziness of living on this small island in the middle of the Atlantic make his articles a must read.

Radio DJ

He’s been heating up the airwaves with the latest hip-hop, reggae and more for years now, making DJ Roddygun a hit in the afternoons on Power 95 (Bermuda Broadcasting Company, 4 Fort Hill Road, Prospect, Devonshire, 295-2828) and a hit with our judges, who felt it was about time he was recognized for his skills.

Radio Talk-Show Host

He interviews the movers and shakers—including the premier on a regular basis—makes prank calls to unsuspecting birthday people and generally entertains morning listeners with his unique blend of humour and intellect. Thaao Dill of Hott 107.5 (49 Union Square Mall, Hamilton, 297-1076) was an easy choice for best radio talk-show host.

Teacher

Our judges had a difficult time singling out one teacher to recognize, so they went with experience. As Vernon Sanders Law said, “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.”

THE JUDGES

David A. Gibbons, owner and co-founder, BeachLime.com web portal and design services

Andrew Vaucrosson, VP, operational risk management, Zurich Investment Services Limited

Sherri Simmons, journalist, VSB News

Tiffany Wardman, media relations, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences

Colin Hassell, general manager, Arnold’s Tile

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